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Joodse geschiedenis: de joden in Irak (1900-


Admission requirements

Basic historical knowledge (e.g. ‘Inleiding jodendom’ or ‘Geschiedenis van het Midden-Oosten’ / History of the Middle East


The recent study of Orit Bashkin, A History of the Jews in Modern Iraq: New Babylonians (Stanford: SUP, 2012) forms the starting point of a closer look at the history of the Jews in Iraq and at that of the Jews in the Middle East more widely. Bashkin’s book covers the eventful period starting in the early 20th century and ending with the forced migration of the Iraqi Jews to the new state of Israel. Her description of this particular community sheds light on changing Jewish identities in this period within the context of Arab nationalism and Zionism and the modernization of the Middle East more generally. In an intensive course of six meetings in October and November, Bashkin’s study will be read and discussed thoroughly and put into the wider context of the historiography of Jews in the Middle East and the study of non-Muslim minorities. Students will further elaborate on these themes with a paper addressing one or more of the themes of this study.

Course objectives

  • basic knowledge of the history of Jews in Iraq and the Middle East in the modern period – basic knowledge of the historiography of Jews in Iraq and the Middle East in the modern period – practicing and expanding skills in summarizing, analyzing and discussing scholarly literature in the field of Jewish and Modern Middle East studies. – Practicing research and writing skills via a paper on a related topic


6 meetings on Wednesday, 13.00-15.00; Oct 17, 31, Nov 7, 14, 21, 28.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • class participation (20%) – presentation (30%) – paper (50%)


Yes, see Blackboard

Reading list

Orit Bashkin, A History of the Jews in Modern Iraq: New Babylonians (Stanford: SUP, 2012).
Additional background literature will be provided via BB


Via uSis In addition to the registration in uSis, students are also expected to self-enroll in blackboard. Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Contact mrs. drs. M. Starkenburg


This seminar is open to 2nd and 3rd year BA-students of HJS, Wereldgodsdiensten en Midden-Oosten studies, as well as to those with some knowledge of Jewish and Middle Eastern history; Dutch students are allowed to write their paper in Dutch.
For further questions, please contact H.L. Murre-van den Berg
or see the website,
or the weblog